Reducing youth unemployment by creating more learning and employment opportunities is a priority of Bulgarian employment policy.
A manual for validating knowledge, skills and competences acquired through informal and non-formal learning has been developed in Bulgaria. The manual was created in accordance with current legislation and regulated by the Vocational Education and Training Act’s requirements for acquiring a professional qualification in a vocation or part of a vocation. It is based on European policies, principles and best practices.
‘First job’ is a national agreement signed by the government and social partners in Bulgaria in September 2012. Related to the initiative schemes have been launched targeting unemployed young people up to age 29; these are funded by the operational programme ‘Human resources development’. Activities include either vocational training or training in key competences, with the aim of increasing participants’ employability on the labour market.
The National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET) is responsible for an integrated information system (IIS) for data collection and storage. The agency manages and provides data and information on demand. The system is part of the e-government of the country.
In accordance with implementation of the project ‘Development and implementation of an information system for workforce competence assessment by sectors and region and with the cooperation of leading human resources consultants’, the Bulgarian industrial association’s chamber (a nationally represented employers’ organisation) has developed the prototypes of the first seven sector competence models.
All Bulgarian citizens have now access to an electronic self-study platform in two thematic areas: ‘Social and legal labour relationships’ and ‘Teamwork and social activities’.
Improving quality is a key priority in vocational education and training. A manual for self-assessment is used in initial vocational education in Bulgaria to contribute to it.
Methods and tools have been developed for validation of knowledge, skills and competences acquired through informal and non-formal learning in the finance, trade and information technology sectors.
On 1February 2012,theBulgarian governmentapprovedtheNationalQualificationsFramework (NQF). It has been developed following the Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council for establishment of the European qualifications framework (EQF) for lifelong learning.
A drastic reduction in the number of qualified staff and specialists is a key problem in Bulgaria, hindering the development and functioning of entire sectors of the economy and social life spheres. These are the main conclusions of the project "Development and implementation of an information system for assessing the competence of the workforce in sectors and regions", funded by the Operational Programme "Human Resources Development".